College Football Players Tgat Only Played In Football High School In-Season Strength Training for Football

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In-Season Strength Training for Football

During the football season, players will lose strength and power without consistent strength training. This will obviously affect performance on the field so continuing a strength program throughout the season is critical to success.

Ten years ago, in-season weight lifting programs at the high school level were largely non-existent. Strength training at the collegiate level occurs only one to two times per week and usually after practice. Traditional programs emphasized high repetitions with low weights because by the time athletes entered the weight room, they were already exhausted from practice. With what we now know about periodization and peaking before the season starts, why go back to lighter weights and higher reps?

Many high school and college football programs are now using a system that keeps the weight and intensity level high and the reps low to maintain strength and power throughout the season. High intensity, low volume workouts are the best way for athletes to maintain the hard work they put in over the summer. Many schools have added strength training classes to the school day, or athletes have access to the weight room before school, allowing them to train without the fatigue of practice.

Here is a sample program:

Day 1: (3×4)

Squats

Explosive deadlift with a shrug

Military Press

Day 2: (3×4)

Power clean

Bench press

Glute/Ham or RDL (3×8)

Day 3: (3×8)

Power squat

Power bench

main work

A typical in-season program looks like this with low volume because time is limited, but with high intensity for optimal strength and power. If your schedule allows for a third day of training, use light weights but do the exercises explosively. Also note that this schedule includes mostly joint movements to work multiple muscle groups in the least amount of time.

Be sure to switch programs a week or two into the season to prevent plateaus and make the program more exciting for your athletes. For example, weeks three and six replace weight training with plyometric training or explosive medicine ball drills. Combination lifts are another excellent option. Examples include the front squat in the overhead press, the clean hang in the front squat, and the dumbbell deadlift in the bent-over row. Be creative during these weeks as any change in muscle stimulation will help avoid plateaus and complacency.

During the season, there is also an emphasis on safety in the weight room with the players. When lifting with heavy weights and low reps, a spotter is essential. Athletes also need to understand the importance of hitting the correct number of repetitions to maintain their strength levels. Using too much weight, relying on a spotter to complete reps, and using poor technique can all lead to injury. It will also not give the expected results.

With more time for strength training during the school day, be sure to take advantage of these advanced training techniques to maintain your strength and power levels throughout the season. Especially at the end of the season you will notice a difference in your performance.

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